• What Is the Initiative?

    Climate change, coupled with other urgent threats to our natural environment, poses one of the most significant and singular challenges faced by society in the 21st century. The world's ability to generate solutions will require substantive and disruptive innovation across a broad spectrum of sectors such as energy, transportation and the built environment.

    How can we motivate leaders to address and mitigate these challenges? What role does government policy play to empower or restrict innovators and entrepreneurs? How should businesses best approach the clean innovation risks and opportunities before them.

    The Business Innovation and Climate Change Initiative aims to answer these questions through leadership education, multi-stakeholder events, applied research and bipartisan analysis related to clean energy innovation. As part of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business' Washington, D.C.-area programs and research, the Initiative will seek to inform business practices, public policy and the productive intersection between the two.

    What We Do

    The Initiative will be spearheaded by Darden's Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and will include the following programs:

    • A biannual Sustainability Innovators Roundtable bringing together a group of senior executives and decision makers from diverse industries to address issues related to climate change and other environmental challenges. Briefings published following the roundtables will represent key vehicles for engaging corporate stakeholders and bridging the gap between corporations and the government.
    • A multi-day innovation summit in Washington, D.C., that will bring together corporate and nonprofit leaders, policy experts, academics, federal regulators and the media for in-depth dialogue and a workshop that will inform a “policy playbook” that will encourage innovation across a variety of industries.
    • A leadership academy, modeled after Darden's successful Emerging Leaders Program for state legislators, aimed at educating and advancing a meaningful dialogue about business innovation and climate change among a rising generation of policy makers, executives and thought leaders.
    • A fellows program, providing the opportunity for UVA students to spend meaningful time in a congressional office and help bridge the human capital gap on clean energy policy.

    Contact us at Innovation-Climate@darden.virginia.edu for more information.